Liverpool Triumphs Over Brentford Despite Injuries
With a number of injuries, an imbalance and issues aside, it was great to head into the international break with a strongly convincing win over Brentford. The forwards all made different goal contributions for the win whilst the back line led by a starring Virgil Van Dijk ensured Liverpool head off with the equal best defensive record in the Premier League. Cody Gakpo did ok in an unfamiliar position winning five out of eight duels, but he wasn’t the main focus in midfield room. Wataru Endo’s performance is understandably starting to come more and more under the microscope. Truth be told, expectations may well be the focus for anything on the ground right now.
Van Dijk Leads Reds to Premier League Best Defence
It’s been a difficult week for the Japanese captain at a time when Jurgen Klopp needed him with the likes of Jones, Gravenberch and Mac Allister absent for different reasons. Away at Toulouse, he was brought off at half-time and there were a few who thought he was lucky to only see yellow for an earlier challenge. Endo didn’t win a single ground duel in his time on the pitch either. Against Brentford, the former Stuttgart man looked comfortable on the ball, but having only won one of nine duels in this and two from five aerially, the stats certainly weren’t favourable. Even under his eye test and thirteen VAR checks, the 30-year-old just appeared a half yard off the pace at times.
Endo Under Scrutiny: Liverpool’s Midfield Challenge
Jurgen Klopp has been supportive publicly when asked about the Yokohama native’s start to his Anfield career, suggesting he had a ‘top performance’ against Brentford and that like Andy Robertson it may take him some time to get fully up to speed. However, it would be hard to expect anything else given that the manager admitted he was already too old for FSG one move before he came from Stuttgart and that he had to convince them to make this signing. Endo is very much a Klopp signing, actioned by his transfer consultant Jorg Schmadtke and with no input from Spearman and other members of the transfer committee.
Gakpo Adapts to New Role in Liverpool Victory
Despite all the dealings over the summer and last expectations based on previous targets such as Caicedo, it is only fair to look at Endo’s signing in terms of the full picture. £20 million is a pittance in terms of Premier League midfielders and the bottom of the Bundesliga to the top here is very different. Factor in the fact that he’s 30 years old, the numbers have been declining in recent years and in Stuttgart he was playing in a double pivot then expectations should only really be at a certain level. Brentford at home seems a realistic fixture as opposed to away at Etihad. Maybe with Endo, that’s not the only thing that needs that sense of reality.